Towel radiators – copper?

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  • Towel radiators – copper?
  • Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    wifes seen some chappy making stuff out of copper pipes on one of her facebook groups, towel rails being one such item (22mm and 15mm, brass clips and vents, fully pressure tested etc)

    our white one is rusty and looks like a bag of sh1t now, price seems good, im just wondering why they generally dont seem to be made out of copper, you either get white or silver?

    ive looked back at old threads and there doesnt seem to be a lot of love for towel rails, dont put out much heat, better off with a proper radiator etc…. but, its only a small bathroom, we have plenty of wet towels (4 adults in the house) and summats to dry the towels appeals more than a radiator.

    any reason not to go copper?

    thanks

    bsims
    Member

    You can get radiators with towel rails above. They really don’t put out much heat alone especially covered in towels. Would copper be more expensive that a regular steel one?

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    id have guessed so but this one works out cheaper than yer usual DIY stores….

    bsims
    Member

    If it’s a towel rail you want and the look is good then the copper should do the job. Does it need to be coated in case it stains towels with vertigre?

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    Is that when copper goes green through being wet?

    Apparently these are varnished so I’d hope that would nullify the problem….

    I would imagine they’d easily dent/bend as copper is really soft and it will go green unless lacquered.

    bsims
    Member

    Yes, but it’s actually called verdigris. I did a quick google and they seem to be in fashion. Copper is used for other heating pipes so it should be fine.

    chewkw
    Member

    any reason not to go copper?

    Expensive perhaps?

    Why not design some properly then sell them to test the market?

    Who knows you could be making £££ millions out of the design!

    tjagain
    Member

    The problem with making it out of ordinary copper pipe and bits is that the hot water will short circuit thru it so only the top rail will get hot unless you put restrictions in it.

    YOu can get big cheap chrome ones that work fine if you look around – I have a 1.6m x o.6 m one that I got for £100 and a 2.2 m x 0.6 m one for £200. they put out plenty of heat

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    not sure i understand the ‘hot water short circuiting’ bit TJ. why would the water flow any different to any other radiator?

    i spose for £80 its worth a gamble…..

    thanks

    fanatic278
    Member

    Lacquer on raw metal might be a bit fragile. With all the heating and cooling I wonder if it would just flake off over time…..? I bought a brushed steel filing cabinet off etsy that was lacquered and it flaked off immediately – sent it back and they waxed it instead (which would be no good on a towel rail).

    tjagain
    Member

    A towel rail has to ensure the flow goes evenly around all the pipes. It does this by having narrow sections of tubing ( hidden) If it all just 22mm pipe the hot water will just take the easiest path and will not flow thru all sections

    Thats what my heating engineer said. I am not explaining it well

    An ordinary radiator is vertical tubes – a towel rail horizontal

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    I’m no expert but assume it would be susceptible to knocks.

    Also in 10 years time copper will look very dated fashion wise.

    Do you have a plate warmer in the kitchen too, and Neff appliances 😂

    Towel rails can be a bit pants so unless you have a huge one (which can be difficult to hang a lot of towels on!) then they don’t heat up the room very well.

    What I did in my new bathroom I fitted was to put a big Victorian column style rad in which properly kicks out a lot of heat, then mount a wide towel rail above it. Room gets warm, towels get dried and warm too. I did struggle to find a rail longer than 600mm so I bought a 600mm one and replaced the chrome bar with a longer length of polished stainless tube of the same diameter. Enough for 2 large bath sheets folded in half to be hung on, could probably fit more smaller or more folded towels.

    5plusn8
    Member

    As above I would not rely on a towel rail alone, we normally fit both in our bathrooms.

    Copper is a good material to make a rad out of, but its expensive so that would be the main reason not to use it routinely. It’s robust enough for sure…I’ve a copper gas pipe running on the outside of my house which sometimes gets bumped by wheelie bins and so far showing no signs of any scratches, dents or damage. And of course is open to the elements and no sign of corrosion or deterioration…I don’t think there is a huge copper content in piping anyway.

    Rads are pressurised and there is a pressure difference between the top and bottom of any radiator and the flow of water through a radiator will be higher at the bottom of the rad than the top…but that doesn’t matter as they are made of metal which conducts heat efficiently so the heat will soak through the whole rad so its temperature is even. the same would apply with a towel rad made from copper pipes.

    The main problem is that something of a circular cross section has low surface area compared to volume so you’re not maximising the radiation of the heat for the volume of water in the rad. If you’re towel rad is not very good it’s simply not large enough and often they’re covered in towels, but no reason why a towel rail shouldn’t heat a room well. We’ve got one in our bathroom and it does a great job of heating the room. The ‘runs’ of the rad are not circular tubes but flat thin tubes so a lot of surface area and we make sure we manage towels on the rad so its not constantly covered in towels, but it gets the room nice and toasty.

    urbanist
    Member

    We have a bog-standard white one (60cm X 170cm) that works splendidly. Thermostat on the bottom corner that goes up to 5: The bathroom is noticeably hot at any setting above 1, and on 5 it would melt glass even when it’s minus 20C outside.

    So functionally: ours is excellent; recommended.
    Aesthetically: not the biggest fan of the copper “steam-punk” option.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    hmmmm wife has decided its too ‘steampunk’ as someone mentioned above, so bog standard white or silver it is…..

    struggling to find one in our size tho, bit irregular. its 560mm by 1600 high.

    any recommendations for somewhere that sells that size at a decent price? and are they easy enough to do with no prior knowledge?

    I fit a lot of these for customers, they’re really good quality for the money and available in lots of sizes and colours.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Designer-Flat-Panel-Heated-Bathroom-Towel-Rail-Radiator-Chrome-White-Grey/252408800781?var=551256899204

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    they look spot on mate, but…… no 560 width :-/

    What about a big s two towels wide? Would give space for 4 towels and no need for restrictors as it’s 1 continuous pipe.

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